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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

PSA: New State Ombudsman for People With Disabilities Meets Critical NJ Need

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A vulnerable population that has been left behind in recent years now has a new lifeline in New Jersey, thanks to the appointment of Paul Aronsohn, the new Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities and Their Families.

People with disabilities, and their families, now have a lifeline in New Jersey in the form of NJ’s new Ombudsman, Paul Aronsohn, who serves as a resource for those in need of support. He can be reached at 609-649-1734 or  (

Aronsohn’s appointment, as established by recently-enacted legislation, is essential to ensuring people with disabilities can access the services they need without delay, filling a critical statewide need.

“It is hard to imagine the pain of watching a loved one go without the resources they need to live a happy and healthy life. For years, far too many New Jersey families were deprived of the support and services they need. When a conflict with a state agency arose, there were very few people who could help them find an efficient and expedient resolution. Now we have a solution to that problem,” Senator Joe Pennacchio, who recently met with the newly appointed Ombudsman, said.

“Our new Ombudsman, Paul Aronsohn, is clearly very passionate about helping people with disabilities, and their families, succeed in our state. He is a talented, knowledgeable and dedicated advocate and I strongly encourage those in need to take advantage of the superior and independent services his office can now provide,” Pennacchio added.

“Governor Murphy and our legislative leaders are determined to make sure that people with disabilities get the support and services they need and deserve,” explained Aronsohn, a former mayor of Ridgewood, who comes from a family with disability. “It is a real honor to work alongside them as an advocate and partner.”

The new Office of the Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities and their Families provides the following services:

  • Serves as a one-stop source of information for disabled individuals, their families and the public
  • Works with the State Council on Developmental Disabilities to help individuals navigate and understand the process of obtaining state services and support
  • Provides information and communication strategies to resolve disagreements with the State regarding the evaluation, placement, or provision of services – and ensure that such disputes are resolved fairly
  • Identifies patterns of complaints regarding rights and services of individuals with disabilities, and recommending strategies for improvements
  • Assists in the creation of public information programs

Paul Aronsohn can be contacted directly at or (609) 649-1734.

The Office of the Ombudsman was established when legislation (S-2392) long-sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean was signed into law by Governor Christie.

“New Jersey offers a number of support channels for individuals with developmental disabilities – so many, that it had become increasingly difficult for families to understand where they need to go, or who they need to talk to access these services,” Senator Kean explained. “I am thrilled that we now have a central point of contact to ensure families can secure the resources they need to help their disabled loved ones thrive. My thanks to Paul Aronsohn for everything he is doing on that noble front.”

The office is housed within, but not of, the Department of Treasury, ensuring that the Ombudsman can remain an impartial advocate for all those in need of support. To learn more, click here.

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